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Hasegawa YF-29 Durandal project.


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Planning this ~ デュランダル


I've had the conversion ever since Bandai dupped us by going 1/100 instead of 1/72. It was shelved due to the bad (IMO) quality and aggravating proportions which give it an even more toy-like feel on top of it being a conversion for the Bandai VF-25f kitformers and a poor recast. Having scored a couple of Hasegawa Messiah's on ebay for real cheap I decided to put this project back on the table.

Playing in PS with the VF-25's Master File linework and artwork from MacrossF Sayonara no Tsubasa's data book I think I figured it out what bothered me so much about the sculpt.

-First I figured out a large portion of the VF-25f is usable in the conversion. Given the Hase kit dominates the Bandai intricate kit in details (like the engine and cockpit) AND the fact the conversion kit itself delete Bandai's details further... this is great! I should be able to use the cockpit/nose section, intake, and the legs in full. This makes me really happy.

-Secondly I figured out just what exactly I hated about the conversion kit's sculpt. The main issue if everything topside from the intake vents/head forward is simply too small for the body of the kit. Comparing the resin kit's nose to the Bandai kit you can see it is visually sleeker looking. You then compare the Bandai and Hase kit any you realize it is shorter. So smaller and shorter and droopy. This is really visible comparing the kit on top of the movie's artwork. I expect I will try to use everything from the battroid head forward to fix this.

Right now I'm still test fitting everything and need to get more of the Hase kit built. This will require careful planning for a complex cut to splice the kits together. It is very easy to rush the hacking and make more work like I learned with my Tornado Pack build.





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1. Adding coated led sinker fishing weights to the nose cone and behind the cockpit to help balance the heavy resin rear.

2. Feel mocked up. Almost the right spot. Just need to move them backwards a couple mm and then work on hollowing out the topside armor so they can sit straight.

3. We are one. Closed up with CA and Tamiya glues. Milliput was placed inside to help reinforce the joint and fill some gaps.

4. I had to carve out the wings a bit to get the legs to sink in where they need to be.

5. The body is joined. Another quick skim coat to smooth things and she'll see primer!


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Live action Bebop, burbon and modeling! A great cold-weather Friday night combo. I think there may need to be another Swordfish II build in my future!

Anyways... Gotta clear the backlog first so 3. 2. 1. Lets Jam!


1.  Broke her back up for easier work. Also a few tips.
a) A big wad of 3-4 paper towels is your best friend with working on odd bird that doesn't like to lay well. When resting the kit on the big pile you can manipulate and easily hold the kit at various with one hand. This really helps when scribing curved surfaces that need to be a various angles to work on. Try it next time!
b) Curved scissors, (in this case a pair for cutting lexan RC car parts,) works great for cutting your dymo/carving guide tape into repeatable slight curves.
c) Tape the edges/borders around you scribing tape with regular masking tape. There is nothing worse than a guide accidentally moving mid pass. You'll use a bit more tape but, it will save you so much headache a frustration trying to fix bad work. 

2. I'm using MAD's 6mm guide tape which is clear and made scribing so much smoother for me than using dymo tape. However, this tape can be really hard to see. After laying a piece I use an water soluble ink pen to trace where I want to scribe. This also mark where to work so not to accidentally scribe the wrong side of the tape. When you scribe over the ink it will be removed helping you verify your work.

3. Quick wash and panel line and I've got progress! Not too terrible of a result given that I'm carving lines over 5 different materials, (Polystyrene, Resin, CA/Super Glue, Epoxy Putty, and Polyester Finishing Putty.) I have a few section to redo as I didn't mirror them correctly before proceeding though...

For design I'm using the Master file and Bandai's 1:100 fixed YF-29 kits as a reference. Of course things aren't exact so judgement and artistic liberty had to be used along with a desire to keep the style closer to Hasegawa's lovely work. After the fiasco I went through on my Hasegawa Tornado Pack build rescribing it, I learned about 6-8 VERY light passes with a 0.15 scribe match the kit's existing kit's very well. Thus far I've only lined the section that were erased via my putty work/blending.. I didn't do much on the 'backbone' of the fighter (behind where the head would be) as I need to modify the head's design and potentially be sanding away any work added there.

The line work on the resin wings looks pretty solid so far. I expect I'll keep what is there and just add a bit onto it. 

Anyways, after corrections are made I'll go into round two of carving all the small details adding some variation to the surface's height too! Then I can look to adding some of the missing bits to the front half of the nose.





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^ That's what they say about all my builds. I don't think hase is going to build anything with movable guns on the dorsal section. I'd love to be wrong though. I'm just happy to use up 3 kits, 2 of the backlog. These fighters are a nice quick break from the other projects I normally work on.

Here is how I tackled the fold quartz pods. I decided to use the resin bits which look pretty good to me. I do wish they were clear resin... I don't want to bother with recasting them myself  so for now they stay solid. 

How it was done.
-I placed the part with some CA glue to hold it. I then traced the outline with pen followed by a few passes with a scribing needle.
-I remove the part and check my placement.
-I use a small pin drill and drill along the inside of my line work. 
-Use a blade and/or nippers and cut out the area. The part fell right on the male/female peg so it took some work to break through everything. Clean up the edges with a fresh blade and file.
-After confirming the parts fitment I needed a raised surface to hold the part just below the surrounding surface. I mixed some poly putty and filled the cavity. 
-When poly putty is partially cured, (about 2min after mixing,) I scrape it using a small sharpened screwdriver. This lets me quickly level the surface roughly and easily. Keep in mind the resin part's underside isn't flat. Thus, I the surface it sits on also needed the same contours.
-Wait for the putty to finish curing and then test fit and on to finish work. I'll leave them removable for now for easier painting later.

Note: This can also be done with epoxy putty.  2 part polyester putty is just much faster and lets me finish the task in a half hour instead of a waiting overnight for the epoxy to fully cure.


I got the 2nd round of scribing almost done. I started adding in the little square details the 1/100 kit has but didn't like the result with all of them. It kinda cheapened the look. Will have to remove them moving forward. I keep forgetting the Durandal has also got a busy pain scheme. I then move on to the 2nd fitting or the tail and the Twin MDE beam cannons. Tons of carving and dremel work was needed on the underside to get the parts fitting pretty good. I almost got a great look from the topside however when you look from the inside there is a 2mm x 8mm wide gap to fill. The result is much better than the crooked, raised, and  thick mess they were. (Scroll up at the 3rd pic in this thread for a before image.) A bit of base work to make the rear solid and then It will also get a little detailing.





Edited by Rock
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  • 2 weeks later...

Correcting the Feet/Thrusters. I was able to round the backside of the topside's twin cannon to get the parts to fit better. It still isn't perfectly horizontal but much better compared to the start. I might be able to move the attachment peg a bit to fudge it the rest of the way but that can wait.

Working on the final headache part of the build. Attaching the Durandal's additional leg armor. I took a grinder to the Hasegawa leg and did some serious plastic removal stopping just in front of where the VF-25's lower fins attach. This lets me bring in the armor so it doesn't appear to be on top of another part, keeping the sleekness. It is almost correct and only a few MM wider than the topside armor... I'm not going to correct this as I really don't want to widen the body for the sliver that will show. To match the kit's legs I had to lengthen the armor too. A bit of plaplate was used to fill the gap, provide structure and cut down on the amount of epoxy that will be needed to fill the cavity. Once the epoxy is on (Tamiya Basic) I used some 91% ISO Alcohol and a rubber clay tool to smooth and shape the areas of the putty to match the leg. I do this for areas I won't be able to easily sand later. The shin armor is just placed on the leg to keep the epoxy out during work. I don't know if I'll be displaying this kit in-flight or in a hanger dio yet.

Lastly little Alto Satome. To differentiate this cockpit from the other 2-3 VF-25F's I have I want to try to sculpt a helmetless pilot, possibly doing a Salute. I cut the pilot off the Tree and leave a bit of spure/nub on the bit where the helmet goes. I then shaped some epoxy on top. Once it firms up I'll do a bit of shaping and try to form the rest via carving. 


I'm also looking into options to replace the ugly wing verniers included with the conversion kit. If anyone has ideas please share. They dome inward at the tip making most of my extra parts unusable.




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Spent a few minutes trying to figure out if the Durandal was in the 1 or 2 seat config when Alto was flying it in the Sayonara no Tsubasa.  In a few scenes, (such as when he removes his helmet in the final attack,) he appears to throw it behind him into the backseat. But, in the ending scene you can clearly see it wasn't a 2 seater configuration. I'll go for this look I think. Depending on how the cockpit turns out I might try to throw the helmet back there but, I got a feeling it won't look right.

Alto Satome on standby. Quickly realized I was a trying to detail him too much for a 1/72 pilot. After looking at other builders works I realized I just needed to get the basic shapes right and let the mind and following colors fill in the blanks. Smoothed off and hit with some black Mr. Surfacer 1500. I'll probably paint him shortly as I need a break from all the putty/gap filling work.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_01.48.27_[2011.10.30_01.01.04].jpg


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  • 3 weeks later...

For the legs I had to do quite a bit or work to get the additional armor fitted. This time I grabbed the belt sander and setup outside and just went to town on the Hasegawa leg and the resin parts. After getting them to sit where I wanted then a dremel was used to hollow out a cavity in the body/wing so things could sit where they are supposed to. This isn't technically correct (based off the 1/100 Bandai kit) but will work with minimal gaps. I lengthened the additional leg armor to match the 1/60 DX's starting and stopping points. The hole was filled with some scrap plaplate before everything was covered in Tamiya epoxy putty. For the putty I also tried a few new silicone clay sculpting tools dipped in 91% rubbing alcohol with the goal being to save myself some sanding time later. It worked ok but, against the epoxy putty I felt the tool's tip had too much give and not enough strength to hold shape.

I then turned my attention back the body. There is one large issue that has prevented me from moving forward. I haven't fixed it but, I have started. And that is best shown in image B. Even without the weight the wings droop downward like a Cylon Raider. I ground away and at the connections to try to improve this but, no avail. My next step was to force a correction by pinning the parts (A) instead of using their alignment tabs but that didn't help either. Normally I'd use heat but, seeing as the body is already finished, puttied and primed I wanted to avoid that as much as possible. I choose to try quickly submerging the body into boiling water (C) and then slowly correct the parts by supporting them in place as they cooled (D.) So far I was able to get the parts from the engines outward matching so that they at least are not still resting on my kitchen top. I need to take this further up the wings to the body but, that is very difficult to do without damaging the model so I've yet to commit and in the meantime snuck in an F-15 to take my mind off of it. I knew they had a slight slope but, until the legs were mocked up I didn't see just how bad it was. My next step is creating a makeshift jig so that once the parts are softened I can set the kit into place and have everything supported where it need so be (aka horizontal.) I've went ahead and choose to epoxy my pinned wings into place so that I can do this as a whole and rip the band-aid off quickly as possible.  



Edited by Rock
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While waiting for the underside's filler to cure from my blunder earlier... I tackled the head.

First up, I took off a few mm of the antenna's base and angled it backwards for a bit more of a streamlined appearance. Next up the head cannons or 'ears' were reportioned lengthening the rear instead of the front this time. I matched the length to the VF-25s' pair. I'll beef up the connection to the head and call it good given that the rest will remain hidden in fighter mode.


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  • 2 weeks later...
12 hours ago, Thom said:

Is that PPP? I love PPP.

Yep. I like it and dislike it just as much. While the application is a huge plus, my results vary and I usually end up regretting it. For me when doing small surface corrections I like to brush on some Mr. Surfacer. The putty takes it well most of the time but occasionally I run into the issue of it not being fully dried before application (deep in on thicker seams) or the putty rewetting due to the thinners in the primer. It creates a big headache with shrinkage after the fact or staying wet when sealed which you only find once you run sandpaper across it.
My rushed planning in this project due to the trial and error nature of kitbashing really showed up after the fact. PPP's success is much greater if you don't go cooking your kits to al dente midway through the build too. That's on me but, I cannot pretend like I'm ready to be past gap filling and onto the fun(er) parts of the project and on to the next. As always!

I have a few more rounds of filler work and primer before I'll bother retouching the panel lines and working on the final finish... well on the topside. The underside is receiving some parts simplification at the moment as I'm tired of fighting gaps for removable sub assemblies.

Just don't go thinking it is a waste of time.


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More lining. Across the spine and down to the wing tips. The secondary engines, what a headache... I mean what fun. Some more to go but the remaining sketched bits are about it. I'll forgo the small hatch details for the time being until it is further along.

Still thinking about crashing this bird. The idea of building some inner structure showing through the damaged parts is intriguing. 



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  • 1 month later...

Tons of thrusters arived from the motherland (with some other Macross goodies)


Out of the 60+ verniers I hope to find something that will work but, I'm not too optimistic. Last resort will be recasting the set from the 27 Lucifer.


Now just to convince myself to get back to work!



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